AS OF FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, WE ARE CLOSED FOR THE SEASON.
IT WAS A PLEASURE HOSTING YOUR GROUPS AND BIRTHDAY PARTIES AND WATCHING EVERYONE HAVE FUN ON THE ICE!
The Riverdale Review published a very negative article about the rink in its February 27th issue.
We are very puzzled as to why we have been attacked. We don’t know if you’ve even seen the article, but in case you have, we want everyone to know what’s really correct. Read what we’ve sent to the Review:
February 28, 2014
To: The Riverdale Review Staff
From: The Van Cortlandt Park Ice Skating Rink Staff
We were quite unhappy when we saw the headline on page one of this week’s issue: “Dinky Rink…”
We never thought of ourselves as a dinky rink.
We opened on November 9, 2013 to huge crowds and, except for days when the weather was bad, sometimes bad enough (snow fall this season was nearly double the normal snowfall that the Bronx experiences) that we were forced to curtail our hours or even close, the crowds continued. And on one memorable day, we had a crowd of 1,500 extremely happy skaters.
We had school groups almost every weekday, and on many days two or three groups (some as large as 250 children) , all happily skating together. We had local schools, public and private. We had schools from all over the Bronx. Not to mention Manhattan as well. We heard many comments about how much nicer we were than other rinks and how well we treated everyone. (School names and contacts available upon request.)
We had two elementary schools who brought their entire student body to the rink. Both came last season…one was a refugee from bad treatment at Wollman Rink, and loved it so much that they came again and will continue to do so in the years ahead.
And the other school planned nine trips to accommodate all their grades, but due to weather were only able to come six times. This year, once again, nine trips were planned (they were so anxious to come that the trips were scheduled before we opened) but were only able to come four times because of, guess what, bad weather. (School names and contacts available on request.)
We had multiple birthday parties each weekend, with catering from a local pizzeria. And on week-long school breaks, we had weekday birthday parties.
We had one special event, hosted by a pastor from Yonkers.
We were asked by the NY Yankees to run several ice skating events at Yankee Stadium for children in the neighborhood, held earlier this month. We brought loaner skates and set up right near the field, giving out skates and helpful advice. We had coaches on the ice to give an assist to skaters who needed help and our logo was prominently displayed on the stadium Jumbotron. There are many other local rinks that the Yankees, a sports and cultural icon, could have turned to. But they selected the Dinky Rink.
We modified rink construction to offer the neighborhood even more, and had hockey-based activities on Monday and Thursday nights.
Hmm, hockey. We invited the NY Rangers to the rink, had a Try Hockey For Free day this past December 1, and hosted an entire morning of free skating for neighborhood children.
Some of these children later decided to join our hockey prep program, which we ran every Saturday and Sunday. They became Future Rangers (a NY-Rangers based skills program) and learned the basics of skating taught by professional hockey coaches.
And children who wanted to learn figure skating joined our Learn to Skate program, which was taught every Thursday through Sunday by professional figure skating coaches.
And who were these coaches? Not to mention all the other staffers we employed. They were all local kids, local high school and college students. We provided viable jobs for about 30 people. And everyone loved their job.
Are you getting the idea here?
We are not a Dinky Rink. We served the community. We answered its desire for a local activity where families and friends could spent time together in a fun environment, engaged in an activity that the Bronx had been unable to provide since 1983 when the only local rink the Bronx ever had, closed.
When it was learned we were closed for the season (just one week earlier than planned, due to…weather) many customers told us that they were very upset, that they were not finished skating for the season, and why couldn’t we stay open for the entire year.
Clearly the Riverdale Review based its article on…actually I don’t know what it’s based on. The bottom feeders of journalism don’t need facts. Innuendo, hearsay and supposition will do.
To our knowledge no one from the Review ever called, came to the rink or talked to our management. If you had, an honest picture would have emerged. Not the one that was painted in your article. Your editorial staff is clearly not on the side of truth, but more than likely in the hip pocket of others who have a negative agenda regarding our rink.
Whatever your staff believes, it’s irrelevant. And we’ll see you next season.